DAILY HE’S TREKKED across town from his north-side home to the downtown area and then crossed the bridge to check on the river.
I met him early Wednesday evening near the banks of the Straight River at Faribault’s east-side Teepee Tonka Park.
We didn’t waste time on chit chat, didn’t even introduce ourselves. We simply talked about the river and flooding and how he’s driven here daily recently to watch the river rise.
He has reason for concern. During last September’s flash flood in Faribault, sewage backed up into his home from the sanitary sewer causing $15,000 in damages. He doesn’t live on a river. The Rice County Fairgrounds on one side, buildings and land on the other across a roadway, sit between his home and the Cannon River. His 20th Street Northwest home is buffered from the rivers, the Cannon nearest his home and the Straight that joins it nearby, flowing north past Teepee Tonka where he’s kept a watchful vigil.
He was optimistic, though, on Wednesday evening, telling me the Straight River had crested that afternoon and gone down. He wasn’t worried. The water was no where near the level during last fall’s flash flood. I could see that and so could he.
And so I left this river watcher, braving the slippery, iced sidewalk to step onto the park bridge and peer into the raging waters of the Straight River.
CHECK BACK for more river images from Faribault.
© Copyright 2011 Audrey Kletscher Helbling